If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury caused by the actions of another individual or entity, you will likely be able to recover compensation for your losses. This includes coverage of your medical bills, lost wages if you cannot work, as well as pain and suffering damages in some situations. The total value of your claim will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding your particular situation. Here, we want to discuss the factors that can affect how much your personal injury claim may be worth.
What Factors Affect the Personal Injury Claim Value?
There are various factors that can affect the value of a personal injury claim, and it is important to recognize that no two claims in West Virginia be exactly alike. Some of the main factors that affect personal injury claim value include the following:
1. Examining Medical Bills
Medical bills will make up the majority of personal injury claim values. It is no secret that medical care is incredibly costly in this country. Even a ride to the hospital in an ambulance and a stay in the emergency room for a few hours can reach costs of more than $10,000.
For catastrophic injuries, it is entirely possible for an individual to receive medical bills reaching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Medical expenses in a personal injury claim can include emergency room visits, ER costs, prescription medications, surgical procedures, medical devices, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and more.
2. Lost Wages
It is not uncommon for individuals to have to take time off of work after sustaining an injury. This can be detrimental, particularly for those living paycheck to paycheck. When a person cannot work as a result of the negligent actions of someone else, they should be able to recover compensation for their losses. This includes any income lost while a person takes time away to recover as well as a loss of future earnings. When discussing a loss of future earnings, this means looking at whether or not a person can return to work in the same capacity. If an individual cannot return to the same type of job and has to take lower pay, they should be able to recover compensation to make up for this loss.
3. Property Damage Expenses
Individuals often sustain various property damage expenses when an injury occurs. This is most prevalent in vehicle accident claims. The total value of a personal injury claim should include all property damage losses. Aside from vehicles, other types of property can sustain damage, including cell phones, sunglasses, laptop computers, and even pets if they are injured and have to go to the vet.
4. Pain and Suffering Losses
It is not uncommon for those who sustain an injury to suffer from various types of non-economic losses as well. This includes physical pain and suffering, emotional and psychological distress, and a loss of quality of life caused by the injury. Properly calculating pain and suffering damages can be challenging and will typically be done through a multiplier method. This means that an attorney will add up the economic expenses mentioned above and then multiply them by a set number (usually a number ranging from 1.5 to 5) to reach a non-economic total. For example, if an individual sustains $50,000 in total economic damages, an attorney could use a multiplier of three to reach a $150,000 pain and suffering total. Overall, the attorney would ask for $200,000 in compensation for their client.
Jeffery Robinette was admitted to practice law in 1991 and is licensed in all levels of state and federal trial courts in West Virginia. Mr. Robinette is also licensed in all state and federal appeals courts in West Virginia and the United States Supreme Court. As a National Board Certified Trial Attorney who has handled hundreds of motor vehicle, injury, and construction defect claims and a leading author on insurance claims settlement issues and difficulties in West Virginia, Jeff Robinette is uniquely qualified to represent your best interest.